BILL NO A00369A
SAME AS S01167-A
COSPNSR Lupardo, Benedetto, Abinanti, Clark
MLTSPNSR Duprey, Lupinacci
Add §92-h, Pub Serv L; add §99-y, St Fin L
Enacts the accessible electronic information act for blind and
persons; creates a new fund in the state finance law; authorizes
not-for-profit entity to administer the program.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 7, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. PRETLOW, LUPARDO, BENEDETTO, ABINANTI, CLARK --
Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. DUPREY, LUPINACCI -- read once and
referred to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
-- recommitted to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and
Commissions in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee
discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
to said committee
AN ACT to amend the public service law and the state finance law, in
relation to enacting the accessible electronic information act
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
2 the "accessible electronic information act".
3 § 2. Legislative finding. The National Federation of the Blind estab-
4 lished the NFB-NEWSLINE to increase the ability of visually impaired
5 individuals to receive information provided by newspapers, magazines,
6 journals and other print media which are traditionally unavailable in a
7 limited electronic broadcast. Since 2002, this vital service has
8 provided visually impaired New Yorkers with information on job listings,
9 self-help magazines, do-it-yourself guides, political magazines, several
10 newspapers, TV guide listings, and other literary necessities that all
11 sighted New Yorkers have enjoyed. This legislation provides a stable
12 means to bring NEWSLINE to New York.
13 § 3. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 92-h to
14 read as follows:
15 § 92-h. Accessible electronic information; blind and disabled persons.
16 1. A qualified not-for-profit entity capable of providing such service
17 shall provide an accessible electronic information service for eligible
18 blind and disabled persons. This service shall be planned for continua-
19 tion from year to year and make maximum use of federal, state, private
20 and other funds available, including obtaining grant or in-kind support
21 from appropriate programs and securing access to low-cost interstate
22 rates for telecommunications by reimbursement or otherwise.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 369--A 2
1 2. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the follow-
2 ing meanings, unless otherwise indicated:
3 (a) "Accessible electronic information service" means news and other
4 timely information (including newspapers) provided to eligible individ-
5 uals from a multi-state service center, using high-speed computers and
6 telecommunications technology for interstate acquisition of content and
7 rapid distribution in a form appropriate for use by such individuals;
8 (b) "Blind and disabled persons" means those individuals who are
9 eligible for library loan services through the Library of Congress and
10 the State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped pursuant to
11 36 CFR 701.10(b);
12 (c) "Director" means the director of the selected not-for-profit enti-
14 (d) "Qualified entity" means a not-for-profit entity within this state
15 capable of providing accessible electronic information services which:
16 (i) provides interstate access for eligible persons to read daily
17 newspapers producing audio editions by computer, and
18 (ii) provides a means of program administration and reader registra-
19 tion on the internet.
20 § 4. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-y to
21 read as follows:
22 § 99-y. Accessible electronic information service fund. 1. There is
23 hereby established in the custody of the state comptroller a special
24 revenue fund to be known as the "accessible electronic information
25 service fund".
26 2. Funding for the accessible electronic information service fund
27 shall be obtained from:
28 a. The Targeted Accessibility Fund, Inc., established by the public
29 service commission in its "order and opinion 98-10" in an amount deemed
30 appropriate for the purpose of providing electronic distribution of
31 newspapers, periodicals, time sensitive materials, and other information
32 which may be of benefit to the community; and
33 b. The New York state commission for the blind in an amount deemed
34 appropriate by the commissioner for providing electronic distribution of
35 newspapers, periodicals, time sensitive materials, and other information
36 which may be of benefit to the community.
37 3. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the state from
38 receiving grants, gifts or bequests and depositing them into the acces-
39 sible electronic information service fund according to law.
40 4. The accessible electronic information service fund shall be admin-
41 istered by the public service commission, in consultation with the
42 director and the commissioner, in accordance with this section.
43 5. The public service commission shall require companies who provide
44 telecommunication services to blind and disabled persons, as defined in
45 paragraph (b) of subdivision two of section ninety-two-h of the public
46 service law, including but not limited to, certified telecommunication
47 carriers, cable television companies that offer telephone service, and
48 other companies the public service commission deems to be a provider of
49 telecommunication services, to contribute to the Targeted Accessibility
50 Fund, Inc. for the purpose of increasing funding to comply with para-
51 graph a of subdivision two of this section.
52 § 5. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
53 have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment
54 and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation
55 of this act on its effective date is authorized to be made on or before
56 such effective date.